$8.7M Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in School Bus Accident Case

Posted By Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC || 8-Jul-2015

A husband and wife from Oregon went to cross the street one July day in 2013. Sadly, they didn’t make it across. Both husband and wife were struck by a school bus. The husband sustained only minor injuries but the wife’s injuries were fatal. Now, her estate is filing an $8.7 million wrongful death lawsuit over what they are claiming is a wrongful death.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the husband died about four months after the accident due to cancer. With both mother and father gone, their 12-year-old son is now an orphan. The lawsuit seeks damages for the son, who is the sole beneficiary of his parents’ estate.

The wrongful death lawsuit names the bus company, the school district, and the driver of the bus at the time of the crash. In a parallel criminal action, the bus driver was charged and eventually convicted of careless driving. The driver accepted plea deal that included the requirement to complete community service and a high-risk driving course.

According to the lawsuit, the driver of the bus was exhausted at the time, which contributed to the fatal crash. The lawsuit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Elements of the Bus Accident Lawsuit

This lawsuit has multiple components. Let’s break it down:

  • Defendants: Bus driver, bus company, and school district. If the bus driver’s reckless driving did cause the accident, why also name the bus company and school district? The lawsuit alleges that both the bus company and the school district failed to properly train the driver, and negligently permitted the driver to operate the bus despite the fact that she was physically and mentally exhausted.
  • Plaintiff: Since this is a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim cannot bring the claim, and since the sole beneficiary of her estate is under aged, the plaintiff is the woman’s estate.
  • Damages: The lawsuit seeks $8.7 million, including compensation for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering. Also, although he has already passed away, the lawsuit seeks financial compensation for the emotional pain and suffering experienced by the woman’s husband while he watched his wife die.

According to the attorney representing the plaintiff, one of the defendants was less than willing to assume responsibility, which is why rather than negotiating a settlement, the plaintiff is filing a lawsuit.